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Lyceum Theatre

In the world of 1930’s burlesque, a nance was a wildly popular character, a stereotypically camp homosexual man, most times played by a straight performer. In The Nance, playwright Douglas Carter Beane tells the story of Chauncey Miles, a headline nance performer in New York burlesque, who also happens to be a homosexual. Integrating burlesque sketches into his drama, Beane paints, with humor and pathos, the portrait of a homosexual man, living and working in the secretive and dangerous gay world of 1930’s New York, whose outrageous antics on the burlesque stage stand in marked contrast to his messy offstage life.

This show is closed.

Performances ended on Aug. 11, 2013.

Lyceum Theatre

149 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036

Previews Mar 21, 2013
Opening Apr 15, 2013
Closing Aug 11, 2013

Story

What Is the Story of The Nance?
It’s 1937 New York: Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia is looking to clean up the city before the World’s Fair arrives, and his biggest target is burlesque. Enter Chauncey Miles (Nathan Lane) and the other stars of the Irving Place Theatre, who find themselves in danger of losing their jobs. Chauncey is a celebrated “nance” performer (a stereotypical gay character in burlesque) and unlike other “nances,” Chauncey is also gay offstage. When he falls in love with a young drifter named Ned (Jonny Orsini), his carefully constructed world begins to crumble. Douglas Carter Beane’s moving new drama follows Chauncey as he struggles to live as a gay man in a dangerous time.

Critics' Reviews

"Douglas Carter Beane's 'The Nance' is a bold, brave play, in which this eminent theatrical boulevardier reaches for something deeper and darker. The show offers taut direction from Jack O'Brien and a tour de force turn from the brilliant Nathan Lane. "

Review by Erik Haagensen from Backstage

"The season isn’t over yet, but 'The Nance' may turn out to be its dramatic high point. 'The Nance' is howlingly funny, with several laugh-out-loud burlesque interludes. Perhaps it's heteronormative of me to say, but 'The Nance' can attract man or woman, gay or straight-even the undecided. "

Review by David Cote from Time Out New York

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